The bun is best enjoyed warm, with a sweet chili dipping sauce. You can buy these Indonesian gems in snackbars, at the grocery store or at the city markets. Look for a small white trailer that sells Vietnamese loempias, i.e. egg rolls, and you're bound to find they also sell ba pao. The fillings can be beef, chicken or vegetarian (usually some sort of tofu mixture).
It's an easy snack to make and once steamed, cooled and properly wrapped, it will hold for several weeks in the freezer. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes (wrapped ofcourse!) and your snack is ready! Because of the sweet dough and the savory filling, it is a favorite with both kids and adults.
1 lb of ground beef
1 green onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce**
1 teaspoon of salt
For the dough
4 cups of self-rising flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Cut the parchment paper into 3x3 inch squares. Brown the beef in a skillet and pour off some of the fat, if there is a lot. Mince the white part and 2/3s of the green of the green onion and stir, together with the minced garlic, into the meat. Sauté until the garlic is translucent, then stir in the spices and the soy sauce. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
Remove the buns carefully, let them cool a little and enjoy them with a sweet chili sauce dipping. Makes approximately 10-12 bapao.
|I was rather conservative with the filling, |
but you may want to fill this puppy up,
the dough will hold it!
* Five Spice Powder is easily found in regular grocery stores, in the Asian food section. If you cannot find it, try this recipe.
** The Indonesian sweet soy sauce is called Ketjap Manis. Not easy to come by in the United States but if you replace it with regular soy sauce, add a 2 teaspoons of sugar to the meat and carefully adjust the salt, as regular soy sauce is rather salty.